Snorkeling on Belize’s beautiful barrier reef system!
Belize is a small country located along the eastern edge of Central America, facing towards the Caribbean Sea. It has a rich history that began with the Mayan civilization (ca. 4600 Years Before Present) which lasted for thousands of years before the Spanish invaded in the early 16th century and wiped out the last of the ancient civilization. In the mid part of the 19th century, the British fought and won Belize from the Spanish and renamed the country British Honduras. In 1982, Belize won their independence and currently enjoys an identity as both a Caribbean nation as well as member of the Central American community.
Often referred to as ‘Mother Nature’s best kept secret’, Belize is famous for its lush tropical jungles that possess thousands of plants and animals and its azure-blue seas that teem with colorful fishes and coral. With nearly 80% of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System residing offshore, it is home to some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity in the Caribbean Sea. Three of the four atolls that can be found in the Caribbean are located off the coast of Belize: Turneffe, Glover’s, and Lighthouse atoll.
Turneffe Island is approximately 20 miles offshore along Belize’s Barrier Reef and with an area of nearly 300 square miles, it is the largest atoll in the Caribbean. Over 65 species of hard corals and over 500 species of tropical fishes can be found in the local waters. Our snorkeling tour bases from Turneffe Atoll, giving us unparalleled access to Belize’s barrier reef. Each day we will explore the area’s best snorkel sites, visiting places like Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, and Turneffe Islands famous inner lagoon where a dazzling number of sea fans, hard corals, and fish can be found! This 8-day/7-night expedition to this special part of the world is one that should not be missed!
Click on the tour date below to read about trip details including accommodations, pricing, and how you can join us!
Our snorkeling adventure on Belize’s Barrier Reef begins and ends in Belize City. Please note that this is a general itinerary and that weather, tides, and other unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances may affect the schedule at any time.
Day 1: Belize City / Turneffe Island
Meals provided: D
Arrive at Belize International Airport in Belize City where you will be transferred by ground staff to the Radisson Hotel for our boat to Turneffe Island Resort (TIR). The boat departs for TIR approximately 4:00 pm so be sure to plan your arrival into Belize before 3:00 pm. Overnight Turneffe Island Resort
Day 2 – 7: Turneffe Island / Blue Hole / Half Moon Caye
Meals provided: B,L,D
Each of our snorkel days will include a morning and afternoon snorkel at various sites not far from our resort on both the outer rim and inner lagoon of Turneffe Atoll. The atoll is surrounded by shallow coral gardens dominated by Caribbean sea fans, tube sponges, and hard corals, as well as lush mangroves and seagrass meadows, perfect for observing colorful reef fish and invertebrates in clear, warm water. One of our snorkeling days we will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful reefs around the world famous “Blue Hole” found within Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This diverse area is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and harbors hundreds of species of reef fish. This special day will include a picnic lunch on Half Moon Caye Natural Monument where a massive population of Red-footed booby birds have established a breeding colony alongside Magnificent frigate birds. Overnight Turneffe Island Resort
Day 8: Turneffe Island / Belize City
Meals provided: B
After breakfast transfer by boat from TIR to Belize City where we will depart for our international flights. Flights out of Belize should be planned for 12:30 pm or later.
What to Expect
Water temperatures hover around 28ºC (82ºF). While most of our snorkel sessions will take place in warm water, there are several sites around Alor where we may experience cooler water. As such, our recommendation for this departure is to have, at a minimum, a 3 mm full wetsuit and hood. Please note that this suggestion is the minimum and if you plan to spend the maximum amount of time in the water, you should consider extra laying like a 2-3mm vest or perhaps even a thicker wetsuit. Skins are great to protect you from the sun or even the random little no-see-ums that can sting, but may not be much of a help with regards to thermal protection. The reefs around Belize are not exposed to strong currents, though we may plan a drift snorkel if the situation arises.
Our beach walks are on well established trails (sand/dirt/rocky), and there is no significant elevation or exposure.
Please click on our page About our Tours to read about what a typical day of snorkeling looks like on most of our tour programs.